Columbia County's new performing arts center will soon be filled with music with the first of four concerts of The Augusta Symphony's new Columbia County Music Series.
"We're excited about our first series in Columbia County," said Sandra Self, the executive director of the symphony.
The symphony has put on Pops Under the Stars!, the annual free concert held on the University Hospital campus on Belair Road, she said.
The first series in the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center will begin with symphony principal musicians and guests performing Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring.
In Copeland's gentle jazz-influenced style, the piece was originally composed as the score to a ballet of a wedding in rural Pennsylvania.
The first concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the performing arts center in the Columbia County Library in Evans.
"We sure love being out there for the free concert at the university and now that the (performing arts center) is there, we wanted something new and different, something the public doesn't have anywhere else," Self said.
She said the symphony plans to bring more events to the performing arts center.
The first concert also will feature Mark Mobley, a former producer of the NPR show Performance Today. Mobley will tackle the tongue-twisting text of Facade, which combines the abstract poems of Edith Sitwell with William Walton's ragtime rhythms.
"He (Mobley) is really creating different ideas on what we can bring in to show off a lot of different types of music. The focus is music," Self said. "That's what really excites us."
The concert also will include wine sales and advanced ordered dinners from Footnotes Cafe.
The series will continue Jan. 25 with the Augusta Symphony's string quartet, woodwind trio and guest musicians performing works of Schumann, Poulenc and Shostakovich.
"It will show off our core musicians," Self said of the January concert.
The third series installment, scheduled for March 3, will feature the Athens-based Georgia Guitar Quartet. The last series performance on April 26 will feature Augusta Virtuosi, an ensemble performing pieces from Mozart, Elgar and Arensky.
Tickets cost $20 or $7 for students. Series tickets are available for $70.
"It's been well-received," Self said of the series for which many tickets have already been sold.
For advance tickets or more information, contact the Augusta Symphony at (706) 826-4705 or www.augustasymphony.com.
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